Air Force Academy Dedicates Pagan Chapel

Outdoor Worship Area For Earth-Based Faiths

The Air Force Academy has dedicated its pagan chapel. The outdoor worship area is for cadets who practice Wicca, Druidism and other earth-based religions.

"It's just a place where I can go and be myself," said Cadet Nicole Johnson, who calls herself a pagan. "It's outside so we can see the stars at night, we get to be closer to nature. Now, when we have full moon rituals you can see the moon."

Johnson and several others are part of the pagan worship group at the academy. Cadets of all religions also came out to support the new chapel.

There was some controversy last year when someone left a large wooden cross in the chapel. Some called it desecration.

"It's just kind of annoying," said Johnson. "This is our space. We're trying to call a space our own."

The academy investigated the incident but said they never found out who left the cross. AFA leaders said nothing like that has happened again.

Johnson said she feels her religion is accepted by fellow cadets, as it should be.

"We serve our country like everybody else," said Johnson. "My religion makes no difference to the service of my country."

Like all worship areas at the AFA, people of every faith are welcome at the chapel.

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